Shut Down Your Opponent With These Defensive Basketball Drills...

Offense wins games, but defense wins championships...

Your team will have much smoother wins if the focus is on defense, since they won't be playing "catch up", trying to outscore the opponent.

Another advantage of defense is that it creates offense. If you force a turnover, that usually means an easy bucket for you on the other end.

This page contains a handful of defensive basketball drills that you can use with your team...

Click here if you're a PLAYER looking for Individual Player Defense Basketball Tips 


Defensive Basketball Drill #1: WHISTLE DRILL

The player(s) line up and get in a defensive stance. The coach/friend blows the whistle. They then begin to defensive slide to the right. When the whistle is blown again they slide the other way. They continue this until the coach stops.

Defensive Basketball Drill #2: PASSING LANES

First you need to be in a defensive position. With the butt down and knees bent, stay 1 step inside and and make sure there are 2 or 3 steps between you and your man. You stand there till you see the pass being made to another man. You got to look strait in the passing man's eyes and if he is about to pass it go for the steal and the easy layup. This drill works best 2 on 2.

Defensive Basketball Drill #3: HIGH TO LOW

This drill requires you to use 2 balls and about 8 players. First you have one player standing at the baseline three point area (Low) and another is standing at the top of the key area (High). The rest of the group is behind the baseline.

First the baseline player makes a two handed chest pass to the 'Low' shooter and immediately sprints and closes out with feet 'Squeeking' and one hand up challenging the shooter. Once they have tapped the ballhandler then that person is allowed to shoot. Once a shot has been taken immediately locate, blockout, then rebound and throw to the next person in line.

Once a shot has been taken from the first group the next player throws a ball to the 'High' shooter and repeats the process. As your team gets better at closing out and challenging the shooter then allow for dribble penetration (3 to 4 dribbles).

Defensive Basketball Drill #4: WT DRILL

WT drill is a drill used to 'bang' cutters in the lane. Anytime there is a pick in the lane or near the lane, we demand our player's hedge and bump the cutter off path. Place onE player in the lane in the mid post area. Position two lines, one on each sideline, free-throw line extended.

A coach needs to be opposite one of the lines to make an entry pass in to the cutting offensive player. The line that is opposite the coach is the flashing/cutting offensive player.

As offensive player cuts in to the lane, defensive player must see ball and man (man cutting to basket)and 'bang' his man to knock him off path. Offensive man must try to get open in the lane. Contact is a must. If coach passes to offensive player and player catches the ball, then it becomes one on one.

Defensive Basketball Drill #5: FULL-COURT TRAP

This drill requires 5 defensive players with 5 positions, and then 5 offensive players...

1 is a fast person down to 5 being the center. 1 and 2 positions are on the top corners of the free throw on your team's side. 3 and 4 are on the corners of half court and 5 are on the free throw line on other end. The other team passes the ball in, and the direction he or she chooses (if he goes left the 1 will pick him up) that person must force him to the corner to the 3 or 4, the 3 or 4 will trap with the 1 or 2. Say the ball goes left to the two and the 4 traps in the center corner. The other side watches for a long pass. The 5 are the safety valve to fill in for the 3 or 4.

Defensive Basketball Drill #6: THE GAUNTLET

Three defenders are spread out at the foul line (1 in middle and 1 each at foul line extended). Another three defenders are spread out similarly at half court and 1-3 defenders at the opposite foul line, depending on number of players you have. A line is formed under the near hoop with at least 3 good ball-handlers. On the whistle, one dribbler tries to break each line of defense without committing a violation. Once a dribbler is past the first foul line, blow the whistle for the next dribbler. This will keep the drill active and work on conditioning.

Stress forcing the dribbler to the sideline, where the trap is easier because the defense has an extra defender (sideline).

Defensive Basketball Drill #7: SHELL DRILL-DOUBLE TEAMING

Make it a diamond format (1 guard - 2 forwards - 1 center) 4 on 4 four half court game; have your player's double team as soon as the ball goes to the forward or the guard dribbles to one wing.

In the first case it is the guard double-teaming and in the second it is the forward coming for the double-team.

Double-team everywhere on the half court except in the point guard position.

Have your players rotating, talking, helping and pressing the ball (not for steals but for pass deflections - because the first gives you a lot of fouls, at least here...)

Defensive Basketball Drill #8: LOOSE BALL DRILL

Form 2 line under the basket on each side of the backboard. The Coach gets in the middle with the ball and rolls (bounces) the ball anywhere in the half-court.

2 Players should go after the ball and anything goes. The player who controls the ball comes back to the basket and the player without the ball immediately becomes the defense trying to stop the player with the ball from scoring.

Defensive Basketball Drill #9: 2 ON 1 DENIAL

The purpose of the 2 on 1 denial drill is to teach how to deny the ball. By using two players, emphasis is also placed on double-teaming. This drill is also good for offensive players in that it allows them to work on receiving the ball when being double teamed. This would be especially good for a post player. This drill also forces the players on the perimeter to work on their passing. Place players around the three point line with only one basketball. Select three players to go inside the three point line. Two of these players will be assigned to deny the other player the ball.

The players on the outside are trying to get the ball to the player that is being guarded. If they cannot get the ball to that player, they throw the ball to another teammate, who is also behind the three point line. The defensive players need to try to get three steals. Once this happens, another one of the three becomes the offensive player. This continues until everyone involved has been on both offense and defense.

Defensive Basketball Drill #10: 2 ON 1 FAST-BREAK

The drill starts with 1 player on the foul line, one on the baseline, and two in the paint. A coach or manager will throw the ball off the glass.

Once one of the two players in the paint has control, the player on the foul line sprints back the opposite lane and faces the offense. The two players in the paint go on a 2 on 1 fast break. The player on the baseline follows the play to the top of the key and will become the defensive player going the opposite direction. Once the offense shoots, or the defense makes a stop, then first defensive player and the offensive player who first handled the ball go on a 2 on 1 fast break the other way, while the player who followed the play sprints back on defense once they have secured the ball.

This defensive basketball drill goes 4 trips up and down the floor, as each player in the drill ends up as the defensive player once.

A 2 on 1 break is a nearly hopeless situation for the defense. But if you can convince them that by taking a charge, or making a routine stop using good defensive principles in a game, that those types of play can be huge momentum boosters or changers, then they will buy into the concept.  



Defensive Basketball Drills...